How to get citizenship in Benin: naturalization, permanent residence by birth. Safety in Benin

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How to get citizenship in Benin: naturalization, permanent residence by birth. Safety in Benin

Benin is one of the most hidden places in West Africa and offers breathtaking scenery and wildlife, fascinating history, and ancient traditions. The country is the birthplace of the Voodoo religion as evidenced by the many Voodoo temples and "fetish" markets scattered throughout the country. The region was known as the Slave Coast from the 17th century until slavery was abolished and France took control.

Independence came in 1960 and despite a few tumultuous years the country today enjoys relative peace and stability despite high levels of poverty. Benin citizenship can be acquired by birth or naturalization.

Citizenship by birth can be obtained by:

Children born in any city one of whose parents is a citizen of Benin;

Children who were born in Benin to foreign parents if their parents lived in the country at the age of majority and are currently living;

Children born in Benin to stateless parents;

Orphans and foundlings that were found on the territory.

Citizenship by naturalization

Citizenship by naturalization requires evidence of understanding of the customs and traditions of the society as well as residence in the territory for a sufficient period of time. The general rule is that the applicant must be of good character and good health have no criminal record for more than a year and speak Beninois or French.

In the event that citizenship is regarded as exceptional service to the state, there are no restrictions. The general residency requirement is three years; however, if the spouse is a citizen of Benin the residency requirement is waived. Other individuals who may be naturalized include:

Spouses of citizens of Benin;

Adults who have been adopted by Benin parents;

Wife with minor children of a foreigner who has received naturalization;

Individuals who have rendered exceptional service to the country.

Loss of Benin citizenship

Citizenship in Benin can be lost for acquiring the citizenship of another state, crimes against the state or for ordinary crimes, fraud in a petition for naturalization, or treason.

Safety in Benin

No terrorist organizations operate or are based in Benin but terrorists may infiltrate Benin through its unprepared borders to raise funds, gather supplies for ships, or plan future attacks. Boko Haram operates in Benin's neighboring countries and since Benin has agreed to fight Boko Haram retaliation is possible. Of course, terrorists can try to carry out a terrorist attack in the country but the biggest threat will be only near the Benin-Nigerian border including possible Boko Haram incursions.

Although the country is peaceful this does not mean that the criminals are inactive. Fraud is widespread throughout Benin, especially ATM fraud. Visitors are advised to try to withdraw money from a bank if possible or from ATMs in secure areas. Unfortunately, such scams happen regularly in Benin and if it is not possible to withdraw money from a bank visitors should take extra care when using an ATM because there are many different types of ATM-related scams that can occur.

Public transport in Benin is very dangerous due to robberies and armed attacks on the roads where buses sometimes stop when robbers attack or harass passengers. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing and bag theft also occur on the streets so visitors must be careful and hold their bags tightly. Do not put valuables outside unnecessarily; it is better to leave them in the apartment. Pickpocketing usually occurs where most tourists can be found - near hotels, ports, railways, restaurants, or beaches.

Moving to Benin for permanent residence should be a deliberate and balanced decision. And especially for those who are going to do this we have prepared a checklist for obtaining Benin citizenship where you can learn about the common mistakes of foreign citizens.